Emily J. Peters Curator of Prints and Drawings
Emil Nolde (German, 1876-1956)
Watercolor, Sheet: 34 x 45.5 cm (13 3/8 x 17 15/16 in.). Bequest of Dr. Paul J. Vignos, Jr. 2011.125
Emil Nolde’s watercolors encapsulate the Expressionists’ quest for spontaneity and immediacy, and for painting by instinct rather than by adhering to traditional landscape structure. Throughout his life, Nolde made watercolors depicting the coast of the North Sea near his home. He used vivid colors to transform reality—evident in the three watercolors on view here—hoping to reveal nature’s power and magnetism. Working outdoors, Nolde considered his watercolors to be collaborations with nature: “I painted the white snow as it fell, and the finished or half-finished pictures lay around covered by the snow itself. . . . I loved to find nature collaborating in this way—a natural unity embracing the painter, his subject and the picture.”
The Cleveland Museum of Art; Jan. 14, 2018-May 27, 2018. "Graphic Discontent: German Expressionism on Paper."
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